Vytautas Landsbergis

Chairman of the Supreme Council of Lithuania
Born: October 18, 1932 in Kaunas, Lithuania. He graduated from the Lithuanian Conservatory of Music (now the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre) in 1955. Landsbergis was one of the founders of Sąjūdis, the Lithuanian pro-independence political movement founded in 1988. V. Landsbergis became the Chairman of the Supreme Council of Lithuania after Sąjūdis' victory in the 1990 elections.
On March 11, 1990, he chaired the session of the Lithuanian Supreme Council (Parliament) during which the restoration of Lithuanian independence from the Soviet Union was declared and Lithuania became the first Soviet Republic to take this step. According to the temporary Constitution of Lithuania also adopted at that time, as Chairman of the Supreme Council, V. Landsbergis had constitutional authority over both the Leader of the State and the Speaker of the Parliament. He held this position though out the period of bitter and sometimes violent struggle by the Lithuanians to be free of the Soviet occupation.
As the leader of Lithuania he too was a member of the Baltic Council which met at the house, and when the time came, represented his country in the historic meeting with Boris Yeltsin at the house, in which Lithuanian independence was confirmed. Professor Landsbergis was the Chairman from March 1990 until November 1992, when the next elections in the now truly independent Lithuania replaced that post with the Office of President (to which Algirdas Brazauskas was elected).
In 1993, Professor Landsbergis founded a new political party, the Homeland Union (Tėvynes Sąjunga) which gained a landslide victory in the 1996 parliamentary elections. Vytautas Landsbergis then served as the Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas) from 1996 until 2000. He ran unsuccessfully for President in 1997. During the runoff (as noone had received over 50% of the votes in the first round), he supported Valdas Adamkus, who had finished second in the first round and V. Adamkus eventually became the President.
In 2004 Vytautas Landsbergis was elected as a Deputy to the European Parliament by the Lithuanian voters.